Comic cover called out for in­de­cency

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse -

MAR­VEL has pulled a forth­com­ing comic cover af­ter it was crit­i­cised for “sex­u­al­is­ing” the 15-year-old girl who is the new Iron Man. The vari­ant cover showed Riri Wil­liams, a sci­ence ge­nius who re­verse engi­neers one of Iron Man’s suits in her dorm room at MIT, in a re­veal­ing crop top, and drew sharp crit­i­cism on­line. “It’s as though they de­cided a teenage girl’s face was fine, but let’s at­tach a more grown-up body to that face, be­cause she’s not a true fe­male su­per­hero un­til you can imag­ine hav­ing sex with her,” wrote Teresa Jusino at comics site the Mary Sue, call­ing on Mar­vel to “stop sex­u­al­is­ing fe­male teenage char­ac­ters like Riri Wil­liams”.

“Is this how peo­ple see 15-year-old black girls? I keep see­ing these cover vari­ants for Riri Wil­liams and maybe [in] two or three she has looked 15,” wrote Twit­ter user @Steph_I_Will, while oth­ers called the cover, by artist J Scott Camp­bell, “age-in­ap­pro­pri­ate ob­jec­ti­fi­ca­tion”.

Mar­vel has sub­se­quently with­drawn the Camp­bell vari­ant cover, which was ex­clu­sive to Mid­town Comics, and re­leased images of in­te­rior art from the comic by the artist Ste­fano Caselli, show­ing a very dif­fer­ent ver­sion of the char­ac­ter. An­other vari­ant cover by Camp­bell, in which the char­ac­ter is wear­ing the Iron Man ar­mour, is still on sale and out in Novem­ber.

Camp­bell called the de­ci­sion “un­for­tu­nate” and said that he “sim­ply at­tempted to draw a sassy, com­ing-of-age young woman”. “I greatly ap­pre­ci­ate the no­tice­able uptick of sup­port to­day in the wake of the fall­out of this faux con­tro­versy,” he wrote on Twit­ter. “I gave her a sassy ‘at­ti­tude’ … ‘sex­u­al­is­ing’ was not in­tended. This re­ac­tion is odd.”

But Brian Michael Bendis, the writer of the series, said he was “very glad they are not go­ing for­ward with the cover”.

In re­sponse to a ques­tion from a fan, Bendis said he had not seen the cover un­til it was made pub­lic on Twit­ter last week, and while he had “liked” the face drawn by Camp­bell as part of his work in progress, he did not like the fi­nal ver­sion.

“Spe­cialty cov­ers are not in my purview and it was be­ing pro­duced separately from the work of the peo­ple in­volved in mak­ing the comic. Not to pass the buck but that’s the fact. If I had seen a sketch or some­thing I would have voiced sim­i­lar con­cerns,” Bendis wrote. “I am cer­tain the next ver­sion will be amaz­ing.”

Photo: Face­book/Al­lie-RX

Mar­vel’s new it­er­a­tion of Iron Man fea­tures Riri Wil­liams, a black teenaged girl, as the ti­tle hero­ine. This cover has been pulled af­ter the “sex­u­al­ized” de­pic­tion drew out­rage.

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